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  • Writer's pictureCate Bales

Wise Woman Medicine

I'm currently studying a 12 month course in Wise Woman Healing Traditions and loving it. This is something that has resonated with me for as long as I can remember and I've dabbled in and out of these traditions for most of my adult years. Maybe it is because I'm now entering my 'crone' years and embracing the wisdom that being a 'maiden' and a 'mother' have taught me.

These traditions began with our ancestral women who lived close to the earth - learning to use plants as food and medicine, various self-love practices, compassion, sound therapy, breath-work and simple rituals to heal.

The emphasis for healing is on the person as an individual and not the dis-ease itself. The individual is given full responsibility for their own healing, leading to self-empowerment and personal discovery. Everyone writes their own stories and no-one is a victim.

The Wise Woman Tradition is integrative, meaning that it embraces all forms of medicine - mind medicine, story medicine, lifestyle medicine, plant medicine and drug medicine.

Susan Weed, a modern-day herbalist, has summarised these traditions in an easy to follow step-by-step process. As long as the life of the person isn't threatened, here are the steps for Wise Woman healing, beginning with the most gentle approach first:

  1. Do nothing - the body heals itself;

  2. Gather information;

  3. Work with the energy - use homeopathy or flower essences (working with the vibration of the plant);

  4. Use herbs and food - especially wild greens to nourish and tone the body;

  5. Stimulate and sedate - cautiously take cleansing or potentially toxic herbs - these are strong in their effects and are usually taken in small amounts for a small period of time ie: goldenseal, echinacea;

  6. Use bio-meds - concentrated, refined, or synthesized herbal medicines - commonly known as drugs; and

  7. Break and enter - intervene with surgery.

Our modern day western medicine will often go straight to steps 6 and 7 for healing.

I am imagining a world where we can go back to using the Wise Woman Tradition of healing. I have been following these traditions for most of my adult life, sharing these with my family, and now when working with my clients. When we bring the mind, body and emotions into balance, and trust in the innate intelligence within, healing happens.

Much love and blessings,

Cate xxx



Hello! I'm Cate Bales; a passionalte health coach. I write a regular blog, “a re-claim to wholeness", inspiring you, my readers to have more energy, time, freedom and meaning in your lives. Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter here.

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